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What Would It Take for YOU to buy a diesel car?

Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
edited February 2017 in General
We're talking passenger cars and SUVs here, not pickups.

What criteria would be necessary for you to seriously consider buying a diesel car?

You might consider one or ALL of the list below:

price of the car
price of fuel
practicality (seating capacity, # of doors, etc)
MPG
manufacturer
performance (0-60, noise, ride, handling)

Or if NOTHING would convince you, please tell us why you came to that conclusion.
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Comments

  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,728
    Most of the cars I would be interested in aren't offered in diesel.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Well okay then -- could you suggest to the manufacturer of the car you like, what type of diesel car from their factory you WOULD buy?
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,751
    Diesels will have to get a lot better fuel mileage to get me to buy a diesel car. That didn't used to be the case but if I am now paying almost 20 percent more for diesel and I am only getting 12 to 15 percent better fuel mileage I would be going backwards by getting a diesel.

    When gas powered full sized SUVs got 12 MPG and Diesel SUVs got 19 or 20 that was different. But now a full sized Denali can get 17 and it would take just over 21 MPG for a Diesel Denali to break even. If I have to consider a compact car nothing much less than 60 MPG would offset the price difference or the fuel cost difference.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    I would like to suggest to Toyota a diesel Sequoia or Land Cruiser. Not a fire breathing V8. Just a nice mild 6 cylinder CRD. I want one I can order without any of their substandard NAV Stereo systems. I want leather and all the niceties, and will put in my own NAV, CD, XM system.

    I doubt they get around to it before I end up with a new X5 diesel from BMW.

    PS
    I am confident the X5 will get 30 MPG on the highway. Not real concerned around town.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 48,243
    There are many cars I would like to see in diesel, that exist elsewhere in diesel, that we are not blessed with on these hallowed shores. I think something like a new style Honda Fit/Jazz diesel would be pretty cool, moreso if it could exist with AWD. I like diesel engines, but what we have at the moment in the NA market is pretty bland.

    I also wish MB diesel could be equipped with sport/AMG trim. They are only offered in boring base trim now. I don't understand this.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    So what MPG on a full-size diesel SUV would tempt you?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Diesel currently costs $.70 cents a gallon more than RUG in my area. I won't even buy a car that requires premium, so the fuel cost differential is a deal killer (unless you know of one that gets 100 mpg?).

    My wife also has mild asthma so exposure to diesel exhaust isn't a happy thought either - everything I've read indicates that while diesel can emit less CO and CO2 than gas, they can generate 100 times more particulates than gas engines. And those particles aren't healthy. I'm holding my breath on the new emissions standards.

    Then there's that whole business about the smell when you pump it, spill it on your hands or shoes, etc.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    sounds like you're OUT, no matter what the automakers do?
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    You're not supposed to spill it on your shoes. I think diesel smells much better than raw gas. At least in CA they seal the gas spouts so you don't get nauseated by gasoline fumes. According to BMW their new diesel engine is as clean as the cleanest gas cars in CA. That would give it a PZEV rating. No ratings yet on the EPA website for the 50 state legal diesels. Don't let your wife hang around the bus stop, those are pumping out lousy air.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    For a car - probably so. Unless the bang for buck is way higher than it seems to be now. I already keep my cars so long they tend to completely wear out around the engines before I hit 150,000 miles anyway, so the perceived extra longevity of a diesel engine doesn't hold much appeal.

    I could perhaps see myself cruising around in a diesel Sprinter conversion van on a road trip.

    My neighbor has a diesel pickup and a diesel VW pickup. Both older rigs admittedly, but I can hear him rattling to and from home with my windows closed, and his driveway is over 200 feet away. Half the time I don't hear people cruising up my long gravel driveway.

    Even leaving aside my old biases, the price differential on fuel costs is probably the biggest deterrent. And those of us who buy fuel efficiency by miles per gallon instead of gallons per mile won't get the price/mileage connection even if the 100 mpg diesels make it to market. We'll just see that big price difference at the pump.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Actually, current engine science seems to indicate that about 75 MPG is the conceivable limit for a 5 passenger vehicle. At least no one has ever proven otherwise so far.

    So I think we should come up with scenarios that are actually possible.

    Of course, everyone's goals are different. Some people don't need or expect 75 mpg. They are shopping based on comparisons to what they drive now.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    What criteria would be necessary for you to seriously consider buying a diesel car?

    Offering one for sale. My dad had an '85 Isuzu diesel pickup that I drove around some back in the '90s. That thing got close to 40 mpg even with a 4-speed manual, and all the whining about having no power, smelly fuel, etc. is a bunch of guff IMO. So, bring in a diesel subcompact hatchback and I'll be first in line.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    So you're saying like a Yaris hatchback diesel getting 40 mpg and you'll write the check?
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    Yep. The only reason I got the gas smart is because there was no US diesel smart.
  • jkinzeljkinzel Posts: 735
    Most of the cars I would be interested in aren't offered in diesel.

    And that is the biggest problem, no one will offer them. :mad:

    How nice would my new Taurus be with a 2.5L diesel getting 40mpg or more. :shades: If it gets close to 28mpg with the 3.5L gas then 40 or more would not be out of line.
  • novanova Posts: 135
    Diesel would have to be the same price as regular gas or less the way it was for years.

    Paid today for regular $3.77 South east FL.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    all the whining

    Oh yeah, the diesels of your Isuzu vintage wouldn't start in the cold either.

    Diesel has a long litany of issues stuck in the minds of many people that they'll have to overcome to enjoy market penetration like they have in the EU.

    Good mechanics are hard enough to find for gas rigs too; now I have to hope the dealership pays to keep at least one person trained on the diesel rigs?
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    Oh yeah, the diesels of your Isuzu vintage wouldn't start in the cold either.

    Block heater, for the colder climes.

    I do remember starting it with snow on the ground (about 30F or so), just had to wait a minute or so for the glow plugs to do their thing.

    Also, I think some of the mileage expectations in this thread are unrealistic. 40 mpg is 42% higher than 28 mpg. Hybrids don't even come close to that kind of increase.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    My buddy in Anchorage regretted buying his (Chevy iirc) diesel pickup. It wouldn't crank when the temps dipped below 20°F. I wouldn't even plug my gassers in until it was zero to 10 below usually. That was probably an early to mid-90's model he had trouble with.

    I've scanned a lot of diesel talk around here, especially over in the Jeep Liberty CRD discussion. I don't remember cloud talk, but there's lots of additive talk about cetane boosters and the like. Trying to pin down the diesel cloud point is hard but 6°F seems common.

    Fuel Gelling Challenges

    I'll invite the CRD crowd over here. Better to hear it from actual owners than from the likes of me. :shades:
  • Use this handy widget to compare costs between Diesel and Gas versions. My real world mileage with my Diesel Jeep Liberty still compares favorably with the real world mileage of a gasser (I have a coworker with a 3.7L gas). Even comparing EPA estimates, I come out slightly ahead. Downsides are that my oil changes with synthetic oil, even at extended intervals, are an eye watering $80. The only thing worth noting is that resale on the diesel is much better compared with an identically equipped gas version. I think it's a matter of personal taste and believe eventually we will see diesel moderate. Then the economic argument will be clearer.

    Here's the widget URL...

    http://widgets.mslideas.com/dieselcalculator
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    Diesel PU trucks are all that are used in the Arctic. Gas engines do not last long when left idling for 10 hours. You just have to plug them in as you would a gas engine car in REAL cold climate. The only fuel we got was number one diesel. That prevented any gelling issues. It did not get great mileage. Still much better than the one POC gas truck our company bought back in the 1980s. The diesels that gave us the most trouble were the newer Ford Powerstroke engines. They had so much smog crap they were always needing this or that sensor replaced. The older Powerstroke diesels ran great. Only about 1 out of 50 was a GM diesel. And I only remember seeing one Dodge in 25 years up there.

    If I find a clean 1995 or older Ford Powerstroke I will buy it to replace this gas guzzling Ford Ranger.
  • 1stpik1stpik Posts: 495
    It would take cheap diesel fuel for me to buy a diesel car.

    Why would the average consumer buy a car that gets 20% better mpg than a gasoline car, only to pay 20% more for the fuel?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Bad as that sounds, diesel prices WERE in the $5.30 range in California (SF Bay Area) not so very long ago.

    So fuel price is your sole motivator for choosing/not choosing a diesel car in the future?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    If you had a gasoline Jetta getting 29 MPG and a diesel Jetta getting 44 MPG

    This is the kind of false comparison I keep seeing all over the place. Right now people are comparing diesel Jettas to gas Jettas because Jetta is the only diesel game in town. But the reality is a lot of people are just looking for something, anything, that will get their fuel costs down, and the gas Jetta was never in their radar sights at all.

    They can get mid- to high-30s in some of the most economical Japanese cars, or they can spend $5K more to buy a gas Jetta and pull mid-40s. Or they can spend the extra $5K and buy a Prius and do mid- to high-40s, and not hunt around for stations that sell diesel.

    A guy in my complex has a Dodge heavy-duty diesel that rattles all the windows and wakes everyone up every time he starts it and drives out. I know the new diesels in passenger cars don't make as much noise, but they are not as quiet as gas engines either.

    With all that said, I would buy diesel if someone would offer it in a sub-$20K car making at least 50 mpg (combined average) and with a stick shift. I am not fond of the power profiles of diesels - I like gassers with high redlines that pull harder and harder all the way there - but I WILL buy whatever reduces my combined initial outlay and ongoing fuel costs the most. The Jetta diesel aint it. I am pulling almost 42 mpg in my gas Echo, and I have several friends tracking their mileage that average more than 50 mpg in their Priuses. And that's now officially the OLD Prius - the one due next year is supposed to boost mileage by 10% or more while being more powerful at the same time (a controversial choice on Toyota's part if you ask me - I would have shot for the same power and all the improvement going to boosting fuel economy).

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Shiftright says, "So fuel price is your sole motivator for choosing/not choosing a diesel car in the future?"

    I just posted that for the people who were doubting that diesel was a good deal right now or not. It still is.

    As far as me personally? I most likely would only buy a 5-passenger 4-door diesel/hybrid. That's the only diesel that would outperform my TCH and still have all the creature comforts and still make financial sense to trade for.

    And it's because almost all my driving is City driving. If I drove 15K miles a year on the highway, I would try to buy a clean diesel Jetta or Passat.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited October 2015
    hunt around for stations that sell diesel

    Finding stations that sell diesel really isn't that hard any more is it?
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    That comparison is good mostly for people who are considering WHICH Jetta to buy. At some point, if the diesel prices get high enough over regular unleaded, then even the Jetta Diesel does not make sense for he group of Jetta shoppers. That's not likely to happen though.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    It's not "hard" to find diesel fuel, but it is "inconvenient". The green hose or the "diesel" sign is not always easy to spot, and sometimes you have to make false passes into 3 or 4 stations. And if the station has one diesel pump and an RV or dually is sucking on it, you could be waiting quite a while.

    Also diesel spills don't evaporate as easily as gasoline, so you can get the stuff on the bottom of your shoes.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    I am with you there: for people shopping for a Jetta, the diesel probably makes sense vs the gas in terms of fuel costs over the life of the car. Assuming dealers aren't marking them way up (I have no idea if dealers are asking over sticker for diesel Jettas. You can get a gas model at invoice all day long).

    Steve: there is no diesel for sale in my town at all, which comprises maybe 8 gas stations. However, in the places I normally go at least once every few days there are some places I could buy diesel, so the thing for me would be to just plan ahead.

    I was just out on I-5 this weekend headed to LA, and out there it seems diesel is available at most places there is gas.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    in the next town over there was an incident where the guy who came to fill the underground gas tanks put diesel in there instead and like ten people filled up before they realized what had happened. They all had to have their tanks and fuel systems drained and cleaned.

    The station sells both diesel and gasoline. Seems to me such a mix-up would not have occurred if the guy had only been delivering gasoline. Just one more reason I like to gas up at stations selling only gas, and one more potential headache to worry about if I had a diesel - getting the right fuel. A small worry, I know, but one I don't have with a gas-powered car.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,728
    Well okay then -- could you suggest to the manufacturer of the car you like, what type of diesel car from their factory you WOULD buy?

    As long as mpg squared up with the manufacturers gasoline counterpart in true cost, I wouldn't have a problem buying diesel. If offered, I would would be interested in a diesel Buick LaCrosse, Nissan Altima, a Chevy Impala or Malibu... maybe a Ford Fusion.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    there is no diesel for sale in my town at all, which comprises maybe 8 gas stations.

    That's just bizarre. I can count the number of places that *don't* sell diesel on one hand, and I know of a few that have a separate pump for off-road diesel (it's off by itself, so the temptation to cheat is minimized).

    As for the price thing, 87 is $3.65ish while diesel is $4.50ish at the moment (23% higher), so the fuel cost advantage versus a 25 mpg car would go to diesel at anything over 31 mpg.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    No diesel in my town either. 3 stations.
  • morey000morey000 Posts: 384
    wow- I never knew that was such a problem. In Tucson, at least on my side of town, *every* gas station sells diesel. There are a lot of 'rancher' pick-up trucks in the area.

    What this country needs, however, is hydrogen fueling stations. For $10B, we could have all the hydrogen production and filling stations we need so that we could buy fuel cell vehicles. And, if you think this is pie in the sky- GM has made their Chevy Equinox fuel cell vehicle and the review on this site indicated that it required no compromise. i.e. it drove just like a RUG fueled vehicle.

    Oh, $10B is one month in Iraq.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    stations selling diesel are a lot less common in California and the other states following California emissions standards. Here we have only had very limited availabilty of diesel-powered vehicles for many a moon now, so it would be natural for less stations to sell it.

    I believe Shifty is also in California....?

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Yes I am. But California is a HUGE car market.

    Diesel is no problem on any route in California where heavy trucks are commonly found.
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    ...the price discrepancy between like models. Sure, you can get a high mileage gas vehicle right now - Yaris, Fit, etc. They're a bit small for my taste, and they're a bit, well, not nice to look at (again, based on my taste).

    So, if I can find a diesel model that isn't exorbitantly priced compared to an equally equipped gas model (say $500 to $1,000) AND the cost per mile works out in my favor, then I'd consider it.

    I keep a car ten years - I don't especially worry about resale value, so I'm not likely to consider the train of thought that I'll get the price difference when I sell the car.

    If the cost per mile is such that I can recoup the price differential in about three years, I'd give serious consideration. Right now, the Jetta TDI wagon is looking attractive to me. Wished my crystal ball could see what the price difference between the various fuel types is going to be during the next ten years.... :confuse:

    BTW, two of the four stations near me have diesel. I don't see refueling as an issue.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Wished my crystal ball could see what the price difference between the various fuel types is going to be during the next ten years.

    That's a problem with diesel: it is too dependent on the same oil that all those folks east of the Mississippi use to heat their homes, so price fluctuations are more dramatic and less predictable than gasoline. An extra cold winter can cause those prices to go sky-high, and diesel is impacted also.

    The price of gas is now dropping as the "summer driving season" is nearing its end (Labor Day is only 3 weeks out folks!), but the diesel will tend to go up as winter nears, and with it already being $0.50 or more above regular unleaded, imagine how much the diferential could be by Christmas!

    We really need some diesel-powered cars that can achieve real-world mileage of 60 mpg or more. I don't follow diesels too closely, but as I understand it there are diesels in other parts of the world (small cars mainly) that can meet that standard. At 60 mpg, one is relatively immune from diesel price fluctuations, I think, even vs a hybrid.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    On the plus side, though, diesel seems to be the fuel that can most easily be distilled from other sources, and without the downside of loss of mileage like what adding ethanol to gasoline does.
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,728
    ...the price discrepancy between like models

    Caught a "Autoweek"(?) program on t.v the other day. They compared a Mercedes diesel with Mercedes gasoline engine. The diesel was less costly to buy, own and operate over a period of 5 years.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 26,220
    As others have already observed, the big increase in diesel over gas has changed the equations quite a bit.

    However, I would buy a diesel NOW if it was in a car I could afford and actually wanted. I want an E320 cdi, but can't afford it. I don't want a Jetta ... or anything from VW at the moment. Hmmmm.... maybe a Jetta TDI with quattro. I just don't want FWD.

    Anyway, IF I could afford the Benz, according to the widget, I would save $239.58/year in fuel, using the current prices down the street from me at my regular Hess station. That, however, is comparing to regular. The E350 uses premium. But I'll let that slide for now, as I COULD use RUG in the E350 and suffer the consequences. At a $1k premium for the diesel engine option, I'm just about even in 4 years. I would do it. Basically, on a 5-year finance, you are looking at saving money on fuel. Not to mention the added benefit of stopping less to refuel.

    I'd like to see a C-class diesel to at least get more in my financial ballpark. Even better would be a BMW 120 hatchback.

    '10 Equinox LS; '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 49-car history and counting!

  • and affordable. I'm even willing to pay a small price premium on the purchase, and I don't believe that the current price differential between RUG and Diesel is a real problem, in percentage terms.

    My only issue is that the only affordable diesel car soon to be available is the Jetta, and I've not yet warmed up to the thought of relying on a VW dealer service dept. The long waiting lists that dealers already have for these cars gives me reason to try and hold off and see when Acura, Honda, Subaru, and Nissan decide to produce their diesel models, and what their sales prices will be.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,751
    " but I WILL buy whatever reduces my combined initial outlay and ongoing fuel costs the most."

    That was only a half truth. You already admitted if it didn't come with a manual you weren't interested in another thread. :surprise:

    But in this case I agree with you. A 43 MPG Jetta is not going to impress anyone that has a 45 MPG Hybrid. It won't even impress anyone that has a 40 MPG Civic or Yaris. First the Jetta would cost you more out the door and then in is another 75 cents a gallon at the pump. The new super low sulphur diesel will be even more expensive. When it was 11 MPG in a Pickup or SUV and 20 MPG with a diesel that seemed worth it even if it cost more to buy out the door. what I would expect is about 30 percent better fuel mileage that what I can get from a gas rig or why bother? I like diesel trucks and SUVs and if they made a diesel that got the same mileage as the old Rabbit diesel they would be in the ball park. I commuted with a man who had one and we got 49 MPG day in and day out.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,560
    Most of the cars I would be interested in aren't offered in diesel.

    In a cruel twist of fate, the type of car I tend to prefer used to be offered with a Diesel...intermediate and full-sized RWD cars from the late 70's and early 80's. But alas, we all know how that turned out. :sick:

    I wonder how hard it would be to get a DuraMax into an '83 Parisienne? Or a Cummins into a St. Regis? Or heck, even a PowerStroke into a Crown Vic? :shades:
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    That was only a half truth. You already admitted if it didn't come with a manual you weren't interested in another thread

    Yes, but so far non-luxury diesel models come with a stick, and I'm certainly not going to be buying a luxury car.

    The new super low sulphur diesel will be even more expensive

    We have had ULSD here in California for two years. I don't think prices will be going up in YOUR neck of the woods. ;-)

    So what did they do wrong with the new Jetta diesel anyway? I have heard fables around here of mid-50s being routine mileage in a Jetta diesel. Did they power up too much with the new model and lose their edge over hybrids? From mid-50s to mid-40s is a big step backwards in the era of $4 fuel...

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • 1stpik1stpik Posts: 495
    "If you had a gasoline Jetta getting 29 MPG and a diesel Jetta getting 44 MPG..."

    Those numbers are wrong. The gasoline Jetta gets a combined 25 mpg. The diesel gets a combined 33 mpg.

    The difference is only 8 mpg, not 15.

    http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    There is some contronversy around this. I guess some TDI fans got together when they saw the EPA ratings come out so low, and retested the car using the old methodology or something. Anyway, they got 38/45.

    Knowing how my driving relates to the EPA ratings, I suspect I would do about 29 mpg in the gas Jetta and about 44 in the diesel, so that sounded pretty right on to me. I might do a point or two better than each rating, but the ratio would be about the same.

    Correction to report: I did a tour of the town tonight looking for diesel pumps, and did find one station, a 76, with diesel. The other 7 are, as I thought, diesel-less. I should have noted the price for diesel at that 76, but alas I forgot. There is a Safeway gas staion just about to open up, less than a week out, that is also going to sell diesel, so then we will be 2 for 9 stations on our diesel sell ratio in my town. :-)

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    Actually VW complained to the EPA about their flawed system and had an independent testing company test the new VW TDI. The 44 MPG is the highway rating that AMCI gave them. From the VW website they are advertising the more accurate rating along with the EPA rating. That is a bold move and may give other automakers the incentive to buck the EPA. In this case it will cost the VW TDI buyer hundreds of dollars they should be getting on the tax credit. Of course there are people here that believe the EPA is honest. We just adamantly disagree. The mileage improvement is greater than the Camry hybrid so it should be at least $2600 instead of the $1300 the EPA test allows for.

    While the Environmental Protection Agency estimates the Jetta TDI at an economical 29 mpg city and 40 mpg highway, Volkswagen went a step further to show real world fuel economy of the Jetta TDI. Leading third-party certifier, AMCI, tested the Jetta TDI and found it performed 24 percent better in real world conditions, achieving 38 mpg in the city and 44 mpg on the highway.*

    http://www.vw.com/vwbuzz/browse/en/us/detail/Volkswagen_s_Clean_Diesels_eligibil- e_for_alternative_motor_vehicle_Federal_Tax_Credit/225
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Using those numbers as a basis, the Jetta TDI is going to use about 20% less fuel than the best small gas-powered cars on the market. But it's going to cost at least 30%, or around $5000, more to buy.

    If you drive a lot (17,500 miles per year), you will be spending just about $2000/year on gas right now in your Civic or Corolla, a little less perhaps in your Yaris or Mini Cooper. So you would save less than $400/year going with the diesel ("less than", because diesel costs more than 87 unleaded), making the "payoff" (a popular term from the folks who don't think much of hybrids) around 12 years going with the VW.

    Of course, "payoff" comes in the form of other non-financial things too - a slightly bigger car, a perhaps nicer car depending on one's POV. For me it also comes with the downside of having to plan ahead for every fuel purchase, due to the dearth of diesel pumps in my town.

    Now if we could get some diesels here that do much better than the Jetta in saving fuel, I would be more interested. I honestly want a real-world combined 60 mpg, and from what I hear, such a thing does exist in other parts of the world, right now.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

This discussion has been closed.